Jerry Knotts

Jerry Knotts served 24 years in the USAF and had a unusual career with many exciting assignments, retiring with the rank of Colonel. During that period, he flew clandestine reconnaissance missions in covertly configured aircraft in and around Germany, the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Mediterrean areas. Later he flew 112 missions in North Viet Nam/Laos as an F-105F Wild Weasel / Ryan Raider “Surface to Air Missile (SAM) Killer”. Then he served as program manager/project engineer building “special” aircraft as a member of the USAF Big Safari Program team. He was Commander, Defense Contract Administration Plant Representative Office (DCASPRO) Detroit Diesel Allison, Indianapolis, IN and later, Commander, Washington Area Contracting Center (WACC), Andrews AFB, MD.

Since retirement from the USAF, he has been a serial entrepreneur, coach, angel investor and has worked with numerous entrepreneurs for over 30 years. Over this period of time, he started five companies and mentored over 300 start-ups.

Currently, Jerry is President, California Coast Venture Forum, Inc.(, parent of the Clean Business Investment Summit and Chairman, Entrepreneurs Without Borders. He serves as mentor/screener for Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio) and the LA based, LARTA Institute. As treasurer, Youth Enrichment Foundation, Alexamdria,VA, he supports 28 Youth Leadership Conferences throughout the country. Each year, he conducts a one week Thousand Oaks Youth Leadership Conference where he teaches Patriotism, Leadership and Free Enterprise to a class of 60 high school sophomores and juniors. He is also Executive Secretary, Society of Wild Weasels. As a board member/Treasurer of the Air Warrior Courage Foundation (AWCF) / Wounded Warriors Emergency Support Fund he supports wounded warriors from all military services in areas not covered by government programs. This includes the Ventura County Military Collaborative. 

Jerry produces and directs the annual Memorial Day Service sponsored by Pierce Brothers with a typical 3500 attendance. All the local Veteran’s organizations are part of the program.  He is a member, Dean’s Board of Advisors, California Lutheran University (CLU) School of Management, a mentor with CLU, UCLA, UCSF, Auburn, Penn State, CSUCI and UCSB for their Entrepreneur Programs and is a panel member for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Businesses Program at LACC and LBCC.

His previous executive positions included Vice-President/General Manager, Government Electronics Division, California Microwave Inc. (CMI), Woodland Hills, CA and Vice-President, American Nucleonics Corporation (ANC), Westlake Village, CA. These two companies provided specalized airborne electronic reconnaissance systems.

Jerry holds a BSEE (Electrical Engineering) from The Pennsylvania State University; and an MBA from Auburn University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. He is a Senior Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE); Chairman, IEEE Buenaventura Life Member Affinity Group, and past Secretary, IEEE Buenaventura Section. Jerry is a pilot, licensed, registered Professional Engineer (PE), Amateur Radio operator (K3ZZO) and life member of the Texas, California, and National Society of Professional Engineers. He is also a life member of both the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (River Rats) and Society of Wild Weasels.

Jerry has served as a Ventura County Airport Commissioner, and has served as a Lay Arbitor for the Ventura County Bar.

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